August 2013 E-Newsletter

Senator Mike Crapo
2013-09-04 13:48:17
*Dear Friends,* *Welcome to the latest edition of my E-Newsletter.* I had the pleasure of touring the great state of Idaho during the August state work period.� Throughout the month, I was able to greet folks all over the state.� I made many stops in the north Idaho region, the Treasure Valley and in parts of eastern Idaho.� There is nothing more refreshing than seeing the wonderful people of Idaho engaged in our nation�s political discourse.� Thank you, to everyone who came out to the events and shared their thoughts on the many issues facing our country today.� I have highlighted a few events below. **A Call for Increased Commitment to Wildfire Prevention** As another record breaking fire season is upon us, I joined my colleagues Idaho Senator Jim Risch and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden in calling for an increased commitment to fire prevention and collaboration on fire policy at an event at the National Interagency Fire Center.� With an ever-greater fuel load in our national forests and near-record drought, wildfires increase in intensity and severity each year, causing millions of dollars in economic damages, loss of life and the destruction of thousands of homes and other structures across the nation.�� It is clear that we need to maintain focus on improving the health of our federal lands, decreasing the threat of catastrophic fires and increasing active management to ensure that public lands managers and firefighters have the best resources available to protect our communities.� Current land management policies are not keeping pace with the growing risk.� Sound land management based on consensus-driven collaboration will help prevent and reduce fires, and has proven successful in restoring jobs and economic and ecological conditions in our nation�s pristine backcountry areas.� To learn more, click here [link 9].� **Idaho Downwinders** I made a stop in Emmett to visit with Idaho�s downwinders.� Referred to as �downwinders,� these Americans suffered from cancer and other various health issues as radiation from above ground nuclear testing in Nevada drifted east and north over a number of states during the 1950s and 60s.� Those in attendance viewed a new documentary titled, �Jay and John Wayne: A Downwinder�s Story� that chronicles the plight of downwinders.� I spoke to the crowd following the film and again offered my support.� Like the group, I hope the film will continue to raise awareness in Congress. I have long been a supporter of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) which provides monetary compensation for qualifying people who contracted cancer as a result of exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing undertaken by the United States.� RECA also compensates certain individuals who contracted one of many medical conditions while mining and processing uranium for use in nuclear weapons.� Additionally, individuals in specified counties in Nevada, Utah and Arizona, where fallout from the nuclear testing was significantly measured, are eligible for benefits under the program. Unfortunately, Idaho downwinders remain excluded from eligibility.� In April, I introduced S. 733, legislation to modernize the RECA program to increase the number of downwind sites from which individuals could qualify for compensation under the program, in addition to increasing compensation limits for eligible claimants.� This was the fifth time I have introduced legislation to include Idahoans in RECA.� S. 733 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for further consideration. � **Food Safety Important But Must Be Reasonable** On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce.� Among its requirements, the proposed rule would require weekly testing of all agricultural water at a cost of $35 to $40 per week.� If levels of coliform bacteria exceed the FDA�s standard, the farmer must cease irrigation until the water is in compliance, running a high risk of ruining a crop.� The FDA estimates that the cost of implementation will cost a producer approximately $5,000 to $30,600 per farm, depending on size, with a total industry cost of $460 million. The rule was created pursuant to the 2011 enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was driven by concerns with high profile incidents of food contamination.� I voted against this legislation when it was passed by Congress due to concerns with its large cost and far sweeping federal regulations.� I support ensuring the safety of our water and food supplies, but we must be reasonable in our approach and ensure that any needed remedies are tailored to properly address the problem without overly burdening producers with additional unnecessary paperwork and costs.� In response to the FDA�s roll out of these new burdensome regulations, I introduced the Stopping Costly Regulations Against Produce (SCRAP) Act as an amendment to the Senate version of the Farm Bill.� The SCRAP Act would have defunded the FDA�s proposed fresh produce rule.� Unfortunately, the amendment was not allowed a vote during consideration of the Farm Bill.� However, I continue to work to resolve the issue.� While in the Treasure Valley, I spoke with Farm Bureau representatives and other agriculture industry leaders about the negative impacts the FDA�s proposed rules would have on area farmers.� Ultimately, farmers and ranchers work hard to put safe, quality food on their families� tables and tables across the nation and world.� Food safety measures must work to fix problems without crippling production. �To learn more, click here [link 10]. I encourage those interested in this issue to review the proposed rule and provide input to the FDA.� The rule can be accessed on the FDA�s website here [link 11].� **Community Luncheon: Answering Idahoan�s Questions** During a stop in Bonners Ferry, I answered questions from Idahoans at a community luncheon.� I received many questions regarding Obamacare, jobs, the economy and the troubling gridlock in Washington, D.C.�� It is always great to hear Idahoan�s common-sense solutions to the many issues pending before Congress. **Collaboration is Key** I was fortunate to meet with the Clearwater Basin Collaborative working group in Lewiston to discuss job creation, recreational opportunities and habitat and land preservation efforts in the Clearwater Basin.� I have long championed consensus-based collaboration as key to realizing meaningful progress in long standing public lands management disputes by bringing all stake-holders to the table.� The working group is comprised of representatives from conservation groups, local businesses, local government, motorized recreation groups, sportsmen groups, Tribal government, the wood products industry, Idaho residents and state and federal government officials.� Through collaboration efforts, the Clearwater Basin working group has been able to come to consensus on many of the issues facing the region and I continue to strongly support their efforts.� **6,000 Feet Underground** I had the opportunity of touring Hecla MiningCompany�s Lucky Friday mine in Mullan.� The hour-long tour took place roughly 6,000 feet underground.� It was a very educational experience and I enjoyed hearing more about the issues of importance to the mining industry. **Survivors Lap** It was a privilege to participate in a Relay for Life event in Rathdrum.� As a cancer survivor, I was deeply honored to walk with other survivors during the survivors lap.� The issue of cancer research and care is very important and personal to me.� In November 1999, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine physical exam.� I was fortunate to undergo successful prostate removal surgery in January 2000.� Since my prostate cancer surgery, I have encouraged the public to be vigilant about their health.� This includes regular check-ups and preventative care.� I followed my own advice and have had PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests and other recommended tests every three to six months since that time.� In early 2004, my doctors detected a slight rise in PSA.� On the advice of my doctors, I underwent radiation treatment.� Since completing treatment, I continue to have regular check-ups. Please rest assured, as cancer research and funding issues are considered in Congress, I will continue to carefully consider the needs of cancer patients and health care professionals in Idaho.� I remain committed to securing necessary funding for medical research so we can find cures for deadly diseases and other medical problems. I briefly spoke about the survivors lap after the event.� To watch the video, click here [link 12] or the image below. **Vietnam Vet�s Recognition Long Overdue** A 45-year wait for an Idaho veteran to be recognized for his bravery and service to our country came to an end Saturday, August 22, as he received his Purple Heart.� Jerry Blackburn, of Leadore, served with the U.S. Army for two years during the Vietnam conflict.� He was wounded while defending an officer�s quarters in Saigon.� To learn more about Jerry, click here [link 15] or click the image below to watch. **Expanding Idaho�s Exports ** During this state work period, I had the opportunity to not only work in Idaho in my capacity as an elected official, but also in my new role as Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee.� The Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over exports and foreign trade promotion, and I was fortunate to participate in a forum with small business owners to discuss opportunities for expanding their exports. Exporting is a growing market for Idaho businesses, and an important way for Idaho to expand its economy and create jobs.� At the forum, the President of the Ex-Im Bank, along with representatives from Idaho State Commerce, U.S. Commerce, the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the Boise Chamber of Commerce, were able to discuss resources and assistance available to increase export sales with Idaho�s small business owners. � **Protecting Consumers� Privacy ** The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created under Dodd-Frank, is charged with enforcing federal consumer financial laws and supervising financial institutions that offer consumer financial protection products. The CFPB has engaged in a massive data collection of private individual financial information, claiming it is necessary to enable the agency to research market trends, monitor financial institutions, and remedy violations of federal law. Recent news accounts have reported theCFPB may be monitoring up to 900 million credit card accounts and is currently spending more than $20 million to collect and analyze this data, including information on credit cards, mortgages, student loans and a variety of other banking transactions. These reports are a cause of concern for me, and should be for those Idahoans and all Americans whose financial and credit data is sent to the Bureau each month.� As Ranking Member of the Banking Committee, I have been very engaged on issues regarding the CFPB, especially where consumer privacy is concerned.� I have requested specific information on the data collection of consumers� financial transactions in hearings and through written requests, and more recently requested the independent Government Accountability Office to investigate the legality of this practice. That request has been accepted. While in Idaho, I was joined at the Idaho Statehouse by Senator Risch, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton and Boise-based attorney John John Zarian to raise awareness on this critical issue.� We have learned recently from the IRS and NSA scandals the dangers when government watches the American people instead of watching out for them. The size and scope of CFPB�s data collection on personal financial accounts warrant proper government oversight to guard consumers� privacy and ensure the agency is acting within its existing authority.� I will continue to monitor this situation closely, and encourage Idahoans and all Americans to voice their concerns and demand change to increase transparency at the agency and ensure it is accountable to those it was designed to serve. *Recent Editorials* August 5, 2013: Maintaining Equitable Access to Our Federal Lands [link 18] August 12, 2013: Wildfire Mitigation Efforts [link 19] August 19, 2013: Advancing Tax Reform Principles [link 20] August 26, 2013: Food Safety Important But Must Be Reasonable [link 21] � *Staying in Touch* Follow me on Twitter [link 22] Like me on Facebook [link 23] Subscribe to my YouTube Page [link 24] *Looking for more information? Please use�the�questions to�the�left to specify.* Please visit�the�Issues and Legislation [link 25]�section of my website for information that addresses many issues important to all of us.� As always, I highly value�the�opinions and concerns of my fellow Idahoans.� With that in mind, we�continue to work to improve my website. Please do not reply directly to this e-newsletter.� We are set up to respond to your comments,�suggestions�or concerns at my official website, www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm. [link 26]� Also,�please let me know if�there�are other issues that you would like me to address. All the best, Contact Information: Website: www.crapo.senate.gov Offices: 239 Dirksen Senate Building Washington D.C., 20510 Phone: (202) 224-6142 Idaho Falls 410 Memorial Drive Suite 205 Idaho Falls, ID 83402 Phone: (208) 522-9779 Boise 251 East Front Street Suite 205 Boise, ID 83702 Phone: (208) 334-1776 Lewiston 313 'D' Street Suite 105 Lewiston, ID 83501 Phone: (208) 743-1492 Caldwell 524 East Cleveland Blvd. Suite 220 Caldwell, ID 83605 Phone: (208) 455-0360 Pocatello 275 South 5th Avenue Suite 225 Pocatello, ID 83201 Phone: (208) 236-6775 Coeur d' Alene 610 Hubbard Street Suite 209 Coeur d' Alene, ID 83814 Phone: (208) 664-5490 Twin Falls 202 Falls Avenue Suite 2 Twin Falls, ID 83301 Phone: (208) 734-2515 Unsubscribe: crapo.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm Privacy Policy: www.senate.gov/pagelayout/general/one_item_and_teasers/internetpolicy.htm
September 04, 2013
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Dear Friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of my E-Newsletter.

I had the pleasure of touring the great state of Idaho during the August state work period.  Throughout the month, I was able to greet folks all over the state.  I made many stops in the north Idaho region, the Treasure Valley and in parts of eastern Idaho.  There is nothing more refreshing than seeing the wonderful people of Idaho engaged in our nation�s political discourse.  Thank you, to everyone who came out to the events and shared their thoughts on the many issues facing our country today.  I have highlighted a few events below.

A Call for Increased Commitment to Wildfire Prevention

As another record breaking fire season is upon us, I joined my colleagues Idaho Senator Jim Risch and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden in calling for an increased commitment to fire prevention and collaboration on fire policy at an event at the National Interagency Fire Center. 

With an ever-greater fuel load in our national forests and near-record drought, wildfires increase in intensity and severity each year, causing millions of dollars in economic damages, loss of life and the destruction of thousands of homes and other structures across the nation.   It is clear that we need to maintain focus on improving the health of our federal lands, decreasing the threat of catastrophic fires and increasing active management to ensure that public lands managers and firefighters have the best resources available to protect our communities.  Current land management policies are not keeping pace with the growing risk.  Sound land management based on consensus-driven collaboration will help prevent and reduce fires, and has proven successful in restoring jobs and economic and ecological conditions in our nation�s pristine backcountry areas.  To learn more, click    

Idaho Downwinders

I made a stop in Emmett to visit with Idaho�s downwinders.  Referred to as �downwinders,� these Americans suffered from cancer and other various health issues as radiation from above ground nuclear testing in Nevada drifted east and north over a number of states during the 1950s and 60s.  Those in attendance viewed a new documentary titled, �Jay and John Wayne: A Downwinder�s Story� that chronicles the plight of downwinders.  I spoke to the crowd following the film and again offered my support.  Like the group, I hope the film will continue to raise awareness in Congress.

I have long been a supporter of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) which provides monetary compensation for qualifying people who contracted cancer as a result of exposure to atmospheric nuclear testing undertaken by the United States.  RECA also compensates certain individuals who contracted one of many medical conditions while mining and processing uranium for use in nuclear weapons.  Additionally, individuals in specified counties in Nevada, Utah and Arizona, where fallout from the nuclear testing was significantly measured, are eligible for benefits under the program. Unfortunately, Idaho downwinders remain excluded from eligibility. 

In April, I introduced S. 733, legislation to modernize the RECA program to increase the number of downwind sites from which individuals could qualify for compensation under the program, in addition to increasing compensation limits for eligible claimants.  This was the fifth time I have introduced legislation to include Idahoans in RECA.  S. 733 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for further consideration.

 
  

Food Safety Important But Must Be Reasonable

On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce.  Among its requirements, the proposed rule would require weekly testing of all agricultural water at a cost of $35 to $40 per week.  If levels of coliform bacteria exceed the FDA�s standard, the farmer must cease irrigation until the water is in compliance, running a high risk of ruining a crop.  The FDA estimates that the cost of implementation will cost a producer approximately $5,000 to $30,600 per farm, depending on size, with a total industry cost of $460 million.

The rule was created pursuant to the 2011 enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was driven by concerns with high profile incidents of food contamination.  I voted against this legislation when it was passed by Congress due to concerns with its large cost and far sweeping federal regulations.  I support ensuring the safety of our water and food supplies, but we must be reasonable in our approach and ensure that any needed remedies are tailored to properly address the problem without overly burdening producers with additional unnecessary paperwork and costs. 

In response to the FDA�s roll out of these new burdensome regulations, I introduced the Stopping Costly Regulations Against Produce (SCRAP) Act as an amendment to the Senate version of the Farm Bill.  The SCRAP Act would have defunded the FDA�s proposed fresh produce rule.  Unfortunately, the amendment was not allowed a vote during consideration of the Farm Bill.  However, I continue to work to resolve the issue.  While in the Treasure Valley, I spoke with Farm Bureau representatives and other agriculture industry leaders about the negative impacts the FDA�s proposed rules would have on area farmers.  Ultimately, farmers and ranchers work hard to put safe, quality food on their families� tables and tables across the nation and world.  Food safety measures must work to fix problems without crippling production.  To learn more, click I encourage those interested in this issue to review the proposed rule and provide input to the FDA.  The rule can be accessed on the FDA�s website  

Community Luncheon: Answering Idahoan�s Questions

During a stop in Bonners Ferry, I answered questions from Idahoans at a community luncheon.  I received many questions regarding Obamacare, jobs, the economy and the troubling gridlock in Washington, D.C.   It is always great to hear Idahoan�s common-sense solutions to the many issues pending before Congress.

 
  

Collaboration is Key

I was fortunate to meet with the Clearwater Basin Collaborative working group in Lewiston to discuss job creation, recreational opportunities and habitat and land preservation efforts in the Clearwater Basin.  I have long championed consensus-based collaboration as key to realizing meaningful progress in long standing public lands management disputes by bringing all stake-holders to the table.  The working group is comprised of representatives from conservation groups, local businesses, local government, motorized recreation groups, sportsmen groups, Tribal government, the wood products industry, Idaho residents and state and federal government officials.  Through collaboration efforts, the Clearwater Basin working group has been able to come to consensus on many of the issues facing the region and I continue to strongly support their efforts. 

6,000 Feet Underground

I had the opportunity of touring Hecla MiningCompany�s Lucky Friday mine in Mullan.  The hour-long tour took place roughly 6,000 feet underground.  It was a very educational experience and I enjoyed hearing more about the issues of importance to the mining industry.

   

Survivors Lap

It was a privilege to participate in a Relay for Life event in Rathdrum.  As a cancer survivor, I was deeply honored to walk with other survivors during the survivors lap. 

The issue of cancer research and care is very important and personal to me.  In November 1999, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine physical exam.  I was fortunate to undergo successful prostate removal surgery in January 2000.  Since my prostate cancer surgery, I have encouraged the public to be vigilant about their health.  This includes regular check-ups and preventative care.  I followed my own advice and have had PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests and other recommended tests every three to six months since that time.  In early 2004, my doctors detected a slight rise in PSA.  On the advice of my doctors, I underwent radiation treatment.  Since completing treatment, I continue to have regular check-ups.

Please rest assured, as cancer research and funding issues are considered in Congress, I will continue to carefully consider the needs of cancer patients and health care professionals in Idaho.  I remain committed to securing necessary funding for medical research so we can find cures for deadly diseases and other medical problems.

I briefly spoke about the survivors lap after the event.  To watch the video, click

To view this video, click, or the image above.

 
 

Vietnam Vet�s Recognition Long Overdue

A 45-year wait for an Idaho veteran to be recognized for his bravery and service to our country came to an end Saturday, August 22, as he received his Purple Heart.  Jerry Blackburn, of Leadore, served with the U.S. Army for two years during the Vietnam conflict.  He was wounded while defending an officer�s quarters in Saigon.  To learn more about Jerry, click

To view this video, click

Expanding Idaho�s Exports

During this state work period, I had the opportunity to not only work in Idaho in my capacity as an elected official, but also in my new role as Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee.  The Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over exports and foreign trade promotion, and I was fortunate to participate in a forum with small business owners to discuss opportunities for expanding their exports. Exporting is a growing market for Idaho businesses, and an important way for Idaho to expand its economy and create jobs.  At the forum, the President of the Ex-Im Bank, along with representatives from Idaho State Commerce, U.S. Commerce, the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the Boise Chamber of Commerce, were able to discuss resources and assistance available to increase export sales with Idaho�s small business owners.  

 
  

Protecting Consumers� Privacy

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created under Dodd-Frank, is charged with enforcing federal consumer financial laws and supervising financial institutions that offer consumer financial protection products. The CFPB has engaged in a massive data collection of private individual financial information, claiming it is necessary to enable the agency to research market trends, monitor financial institutions, and remedy violations of federal law. Recent news accounts have reported theCFPB may be monitoring up to 900 million credit card accounts and is currently spending more than $20 million to collect and analyze this data, including information on credit cards, mortgages, student loans and a variety of other banking transactions. These reports are a cause of concern for me, and should be for those Idahoans and all Americans whose financial and credit data is sent to the Bureau each month. 

As Ranking Member of the Banking Committee, I have been very engaged on issues regarding the CFPB, especially where consumer privacy is concerned.  I have requested specific information on the data collection of consumers� financial transactions in hearings and through written requests, and more recently requested the independent Government Accountability Office to investigate the legality of this practice. That request has been accepted. While in Idaho, I was joined at the Idaho Statehouse by Senator Risch, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton and Boise-based attorney John John Zarian to raise awareness on this critical issue. 

We have learned recently from the IRS and NSA scandals the dangers when government watches the American people instead of watching out for them. The size and scope of CFPB�s data collection on personal financial accounts warrant proper government oversight to guard consumers� privacy and ensure the agency is acting within its existing authority.  I will continue to monitor this situation closely, and encourage Idahoans and all Americans to voice their concerns and demand change to increase transparency at the agency and ensure it is accountable to those it was designed to serve.

 

Recent Editorials

 

Staying in Touch

Looking for more information? Please use the questions to the left to specify.

Please visit the Issues and Legislation section of my website for information that addresses many issues important to all of us.  As always, I highly value the opinions and concerns of my fellow Idahoans.  With that in mind, we continue to work to improve my website.

Please do not reply directly to this e-newsletter.  We are set up to respond to your comments, suggestions or concerns at my official website, www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm.  Also, please let me know if there are other issues that you would like me to address.

All the best,

Contact Information: